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THE LEGALIZATION OF MARIJUANA IN COLORADO: THE IMPACT

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THE LEGALIZATION OF MARIJUANA IN COLORADO: THE IMPACT

Volume 7, September 2020

Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area

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Snohomish Regional Drug Task Force Seized $14 M Worth of Fentanyl, Largest Amount Ever Seized in Snohomish County

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LYNNWOOD, Wash. – On Saturday, July 25, the Snohomish Regional Drug Task Force seized 1,400 grams of fentanyl, the largest amount ever seized in Snohomish County. Following a narcotics investigation, a 38 year-old Lynnwood man and a 36 year-old Lynnwood woman were taken into custody around 10 a.m. Saturday during a traffic stop in the 18200 block of 59th Avenue NE in Arlington.

With an approved search warrant, detectives recovered 13 grams of heroin in the center console of the vehicle and a pistol under the passenger seat floorboard. During a search of the suspects’ residence located in the 15900 block of 35th Place West in Lynnwood, detectives recovered:

  • Approximately 1,400 grams of fentanyl powder
  • Approximately 808 grams of heroin
  • Approximately 12 grams of methamphetamine
  • Several blenders with copious amounts of suspected drug residue in them
  • Several digital scales with suspected drug residue on the weigh plates
  • Copious amounts of various types of drug packaging materials, to include vacuum sealable bags and a vacuum sealer
  • Copious amounts of cutting agents for the manufacture of illicit narcotics for sale
  • Binding agents for the express purpose of producing counterfeit pills
  • A 9mm handgun
  • A pistol grip 12-guage shotgun with a sawed off barrel and an obliterated serial number
  • Various calibers of ammunition
  • Approximately $14,000 in cash

The street value of the fentanyl seized ranges from $14 million to $23 million. From this supply, about 1.4 million counterfeit pills could be produced and the amount of fentanyl the suspects possessed at their residence has the capability to cause the death of approximately 700,000 people.

Both suspects were arrested and booked into the Snohomish County Jail. The 38 year-old Lynnwood man was booked for three felony charges for manufacturing and selling and unlawful possession of a firearm. The 36 year-old Lynnwood woman was booked for three felony charges for manufacturing and selling and possession of a controlled substance.

(Some of what was recovered pictured below: guns, body armor plates, clear plastic bags with fentanyl and yellow envelopes with heroin.)

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Photo from DEA led bust in Whatcom County shows danger of touching fake opiod pills laced with Fentanyl

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U.S. Attorney Brian T. Moran announced the arrest of 38-year-old Troy Klander and 38-year-old Zachary D. Salas. Both men appeared in Federal court on Friday on charges of conspiracy to possess fentanyl with intent to distribute. They remain in custody.

“These counterfeit oxycodone pills, laced with unknown amounts of fentanyl, have proven deadly in our communities,” said U.S. Attorney Moran. “I commend the DEA agents and local law enforcement officers who continued this investigation despite the challenges presented by the COVID-19 lockdown.”

According to the criminal complaint filed in the case, law enforcement used confidential sources and undercover officers to purchase the fentanyl laced pills from Klander and to identify Salas as a source of supply.

On May 28, 2020, a Drug Enforcement Administration-led task force executed search warrants at six locations in Whatcom County. At one location, Salas refused to co-operate with law enforcement resulting in a one-hour standoff. The standoff ended peacefully and Salas was taken into custody.

“Even with the hurdles presented by the COVID-19 crisis, we were able to investigate and safely remove these suppliers of dangerous counterfeit pills,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Keith Weis. “These pills laced with fentanyl can be highly toxic when handled and are indiscriminately killing tens of thousands of people yearly in the U.S. The identification and disruption of those involved in this illicit distribution chain remains a high priority for law enforcement at every level.”

Over the course of the investigation law enforcement seized 500 counterfeit oxycodone pills tainted with fentanyl, cocaine, heroin, and crystal methamphetamine, as well as a stolen gun and more than $100,000 in cash.

While processing the pills for evidence under a fume hood, fentanyl was likely transferred onto the gloves of DEA agents. Just a tiny amount of the synthetic opiod has been shown to kill. No agents were injured as they wear Personal Protective Equipment that includes masks and gloves.

However, someone buying the fake oxycodone could be in serious jeopardy without realizing the danger they are in from just handling the pills.

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The investigation is being led by DEA with significant assistance from the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office Gang and Drug Task Force. The searches yesterday involved the DEA Seattle Special Response Team (SRT), Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office SWAT, Bellingham Police Department SWAT, Washington State Patrol SWAT, Homeland Security Investigation, Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Unit, Skagit County Interlocal Drug Enforcement Unit (SCIDEU), and Snohomish Regional Gang Drug Task Force.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Seungjae Lee.

Article by David Rose, originally posted on May 30th, 2020.

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17 Pounds of Meth, 10 Pounds of Marijuana, Cash Seized. Drug Task Force Arrests 1

Detectives seized 17 pounds of methamphetamine as part of an investigation into a Tri-Cities drug trafficking organization.

The Tri-City Metro Drug Task Force arrested a 36-year-old woman in a sting using an informant to lure her to a Franklin County parking lot where she was arrested, according to court records.

When detectives searched her car, they discovered 2 pounds of methamphetamine on the backseat floorboard of her car, Kennewick police said.

View the Full Article Here
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Thurston County Task Force Arrests 4 People at Meth Conversion Lab

The Thurston County Narcotics Task Force seized a lab used to convert methamphetamine from liquid to crystal form on Wednesday, the Sheriff’s office says.

About 1 p.m. Wednesday the task force went to a home in the 5000 block of 75th Avenue Southwest in Olympia and arrested a 37-year-old Olympia man on an outstanding federal warrant on the charge of unlawful delivery of methamphetamine and heroin, according to a news release from the office.

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CANCELED - WSNIA 2020 Training Summit & Vendor Show

Washington State Narcotics Investigators Association, News Release

Dear WSNIA members, instructors and supporters:  The WSNIA board has been closely monitoring the nations response to the Covid 19 Pandemic, listening to the guidance of health care professionals, state government and our federal government.  Today it has become evident we can no longer in good conscience proceed with the Training Summit with the potential for virus transmission

 WSNIA will have to cancel the 2020 WSNIA Training Summit and Vendor Show as originally scheduled for the week of March 23rd, 2020.   Today, President Trump held a press conference and it was requested that all non- emergency work-related travel and large gathering be avoided. Governor Inslee also expanded his limitation on meeting with over 250 attendees to the entire state and closed schools statewide for the next six weeks. Although our summit is in Idaho, many of our departments have already canceled due to local travel restrictions and we anticipate many more will have to cancel in the coming days.

As you can imagine this was a difficult decision for WSNIA with unknown ramifications moving forward.  WSNIA will work towards providing partial refunds after all associated costs of this year’s summit are addressed.  WSNIA is a non-profit 501(c)(6) professional association and as such, must work with the limited resources available.  I hope we can count on your continued support and understanding as we work through this challenging circumstance.  

The Coeur d’ Alene Resort will cancel all the rooms in the WSNIA room block and refund any deposits, so it will not be necessary for you to cancel your individual room reservations.

Please plan to join us next year, April 11th through 15th, 2021 at the Coeur d’ Alene Resort.

Thank you in advance for your understanding and support.

Richard Wiley, President
Washington State Narcotics Investigators Association

509-342-0427
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.wsnia.org

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New Availability to stay at the host hotel for 2020 WSNIA Training Summit & Vendor Show

Attention Members - 

If you are attending the 2020 WSNIA Training Summit & Vendor Show and wish to stay at the host hotel, The Coeur d' Alene Resort please check for new availability. 

For individual reservations please call (1-888-965-6542) or use the Group Code WSNIA for group reservations.

If you still need to register please use the link below - 

https://wsnia.regfox.com/2020-wsnia-training-summit?ref=NEP&_ga=2.217224467.409777862.1583946671-1281730744.1581621758#

For full event details - Click Here

Thank you, The WSNIA Team 

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National Drug Early Warning System (NDEWS)

NDEWS monitors drug use trends in 12 sentinel communities across the United States.  Sentinel Site profiles describing drug abuse trends and emerging issues will be available on the University of Maryland NDEWS website

https://ndews.umd.edu/publications/king-county-seattle-area-sentinel-community-site-scs  

NDEWS Sentinel Community Site Reports

https://www.drugabuse.gov/related-topics/trends-statistics

Click here to view PDF showing King County (Washington State) Data

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MARIJUANA LEGALIZATION IN THE UNITED STATES: A SOCIAL INJUSTICE

The United States is currently sitting at a crossroads in regard to drug policy.

Historically, the movement to liberalize marijuana policies has focused on lobbying policymakers at the state and federal level. After years of failing to change policy by pressuring lawmakers, the monied interests behind legalization efforts shifted tactics to mobilize behind petition-driven ballot initiatives.

In 2012, Colorado and Washington State became the first states to “legalize” the recreational use of marijuana after massive amounts of money were spent to pitch the proposals to the general public.1 In the years since, a total of eleven states have “legalized” the recreational use of the drug, with all but one taking the additional step in allowing for its commercial sale.

To read more - click here 

The WSNIA Board 

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The Pacific Northwest is drowning in methamphetamine: 17 arrested in major drug trafficking operation

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SEATTLE -- Authorities arrested 17 alleged drug traffickers and confiscated large amounts of methamphetamine and heroin Wednesday after a large multi-agency raid across the Puget Sound area.

The U.S. Justice Department says the drugs were being smuggled into the Seattle area. Officers seized 37.5 pounds of meth and 27 pounds of heroin during the whole operation. The DEA also seized $10,000 in cash and six firearms.

Click here to read full story -

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Federal agents raid Eastern Washington drug operation

"MOSES LAKE — Fifteen people were arrested Tuesday in Central Washington during a large-scale drug bust involving 300 officers and led by federal law enforcement agencies.

Two officers and a suspect were wounded in an exchange of gunfire during the operation, the Spokesman-Review reported. The officers were treated and released from a hospital and the suspect, who authorities said shot himself, was seriously injured, the Spokesman reported.

Members of a methamphetamine and heroin trafficking street gang called the Eastside Familia Norteno were targeted by..."

 

To read the full story, click here.

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Undercover drug bust at upscale Tacoma hotel nets heroin, guns and $14,000

"An undercover drug bust at a boutique hotel in downtown Tacoma this week netted more than $14,000 in cash and 10 ounces of heroin, according to court documents.

Pierce County sheriff’s investigators were conducting surveillance on a 42-year-old man Florida staying at the hotel.

They watched him walk from his room to a parking garage, where he appeared to remove something from beneath the hood of a Mercedes before getting inside the car.

Deputies moved in to arrest the man, who took off running, leaped over a short wall and landed 20 feet below on a lower parking level.

He was tackled by deputies and taken to a local hospital for treatment of a broken ankle.

Investigators searched the man’s hotel room and found..."

To read the full story, click here.

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World Drug Report 2019

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The World Drug Report 2019 is again presented in five separate parts that divide the wealth of information and analysis contained in the report into individual reader-friendly booklets in which drugs are grouped by their psychopharmacological effect for the first time in the report’s history.

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The Legalization of Marijuana in Colorado: The Impact

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The Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (RMHIDTA) program has published annual reports every year since 2013 tracking the impact of legalizing recreational marijuana in Colorado. The purpose is to provide data and information so that policy makers and citizens can make informed decisions on the issue of marijuana legalization.

Read whole report here.
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King 5 News: Kitsap police seize over $900,000 in narcotics bust

View the full story here: https://www.king5.com/article/news/crime/kitsap-police-seize-over-900000-in-narcotics-bust/281-d391d2c8-888c-4c17-b04f-e76ec6d5e87b
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Seattle Mariners Law Enforcement Night 8/24

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The Seattle Mariners are hosting Law Enforcement Night at their game against the Toronto Blue Jays on Saturday, August 24 at 6:10 PM. 

The Mariners and Major League Baseball have teamed up with the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund to show their appreciation for the men and women of Washington State who serve as law enforcement officers, correction officers and first responders. View Level Tickets are $32 and Main Level Tickets are $56. 

$5 of every ticket sold through this special offer will benefit the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund 

Deadline to Purchase: Saturday, August 24 at 5 PM 

To buy tickets or for more info: 206-346-4519 or Mariners.com/LawEnforcement

Download the full flyer here!

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“Seattle is Dying by Komo News 4 Seattle” This is a must see documentary!

View the video here

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New Study Confirms Link Between Daily, High Potency Marijuana Use and Psychosis

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New study is the first to show the impact of marijuana use on population rates of psychosis; Daily marijuana users three times more likely to have a diagnosis of first episode psychosis; rises to five times more likely with high potency marijuana
 
(Alexandria, VA) - Today, a landmark study published in the prestigious Lancet Psychiatry Journal finds that daily use of high potency marijuana is linked to greater rates of psychosis in Europe. According to the study, an estimated five in ten new cases of psychosis in Amsterdam and three in ten new cases in London are linked with high potency marijuana use. 
 
"This study is groundbreaking," said Dr. Kevin Sabet, president of Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM) and a former Obama Administration drug policy advisor. "It is the first to show how marijuana impacts population rates of psychosis - and it's results are chilling. For years we have known that low potency marijuana was damaging to mental health. Now the scientific literature is catching up with the rapidly increasing THC potency we are seeing on the market today." 
 
Numerous studies have shown a causal link between marijuana use and onset of severe mental health issues, such as psychosis and schizophrenia, but this is the first study to showcase the link at a population level. The study finds that daily, average potency marijuana users were three times more likely to be diagnosed with first episode psychosis compared to non-users. With daily use of high potency marijuana, this number increased to five times more likely.
 
"Our findings are consistent with previous studies showing that the
use of cannabis with a high concentration of THC has more harmful effects on mental health than the use of weaker forms. They also indicate for the first time how cannabis use affects the incidence
of psychotic disorder at a population level," said Dr Marta Di Forti, lead author from the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology, and Neuroscience at King's College London, UK. "As the legal status of cannabis changes in many countries and states, and as we consider the medicinal properties of some types of cannabis, it is of vital public health importance that we also consider the potential adverse effects that are associated with daily cannabis use, especially high potency varieties."
 
Moreover, the study found that instances of first time psychosis in London would be cut by a third if high potency marijuana products were no longer available. 
 
Sabet continued, "Lawmakers considering marijuana legalization are not learning about studies such as this from the well-heeled marijuana industry lobbyists. We will get this study, and others like it, in front of lawmakers at all levels of government to educate them on the real impact of allowing the commercialization of high potency marijuana to spread."

 

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About SAM:
Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM) is a nonpartisan, non-profit alliance of physicians, policy makers, prevention workers, treatment and recovery professionals, scientists, and other concerned citizens opposed to marijuana legalization who want health and scientific evidence to guide marijuana policies. SAM has affiliates in more than 30 states. 
 
Evidence shows that marijuana - which has skyrocketed in average potency over the past decades - is addictive and harmful to the human brain especially when used by adolescents. In states that have already legalized the drug, there has been an increase in drugged driving crashes, youth marijuana use, and costs that far outweigh pot revenues.These states have seen a black market that continues to thrive, sustained disparities in marijuana arrest rates, and tobacco company investment in marijuana.
 
Marijuana is not a harmless drug. View the stories of its victims here.
For more information about marijuana use and its effects, visit www.learnaboutsam.org
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WSNIA letter opposing the elimination of the National Guard RC-26 program

View the PDF Here

Major Nate Ray, WA ANG
RC-26 Chief of Scheduling
141 OG, Fairchild AFB 99011


On behalf of the over 500 members of the Washington State Narcotics Investigators Association (WSNIA), I would like to take this opportunity to thank you and the entire RC-26 program for the assistance and support you have provided law enforcement throughout the northwest. The RC-26 is an integral tool used by law enforcement in its efforts to dismantle high level Drug Trafficking Organizations (DTO’s) preying on Washington communities.

The RC-26 program allows investigative officers to effectively conduct surveillance on DTO members undetected. As a result, the RC-26 program has easily identified DTO “Stash Houses” that would have taken ground surveillance units weeks, if not months, to identify. Utilizing the RC-26 during surveillance has afforded task force officers the ability to make observations of DTO operations that would otherwise not be possible to make by ground surveillance.

With the opioid epidemic raging across Washington and large quantities of Methamphetamine continuing to threaten our state, it is not the time to take away this invaluable resource.

In addition, without question, the RC-26 program enhances law enforcement officers’ safety during missions, especially during buy busts and the execution of high-risk search warrant. The RC-26 is used for pre-raid surveillance and on a number of occasions has allowed the officer riding in the aircraft to observe activities resulting in critical changes in plans to keep officers safe. The RC-26 has allowed officers to view secret stash locations that would not have been found without this resource.

In one case, the RC-26 was used to surveil a residence prior to service of a high-risk search warrant. The FLIR determine a vehicle parked at a residence was hot and had recently been driven. Three suspects were observed exiting the residence carrying large duffle bags. Two suspects took off in the vehicle which was tracked by the RC-26. A subsequent traffic stop and search of the vehicle revealed one of the duffle bags contained 6 semi-automatic weapons, one of which was stolen.

What cannot go unmentioned is how the RC-26 personnel interact and perform with a great deal of professionalism and strong work ethic. These guardsmen are truly a credit to the program and the National Guard.

Please let me know if our members can provide further details or testimony as to the value of the RC-26 program.

Richard Wiley, President
Washington State Narcotics Investigators Association
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
509-342-0427
www.wsnia.org

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Driving Under the Influence of Cannabis & Alcohol

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Target Zero presents "Washington's Traffic Safety Culture: Driving Under the Influence of Cannabis and Alcohol." View the presentation here.  
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For Third Straight Year, Police Suicides Outnumber Line-Of-Duty Deaths

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/for-third-straight-year-police-suicides-outnumber-line-of-duty-deaths_us_5c2d110de4b05c88b70542fa
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Wall Street Journal: Marijuana Is More Dangerous Than You Think

https://www.wsj.com/articles/marijuana-is-more-dangerous-than-you-think-11546527075

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Small Bremerton drug bust leads to massive interstate takedown this week

http://mynorthwest.com/1211206/major-drug-bust-bremerton-mexico/
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Updates on fentanyl in Washington State

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The Washington State Department of Health has shared a press release detailing an increase in deaths from fentanyl, a potent opioid, as well as tips for how people who use opioids can stay safe.

There was also a recent large DEA bust across five Washington counties that seized counterfeit pressed pills containing fentanyl, “Fentanyl drug sales linked to 5 Wash. counties; 30 people arrested”

On stopoverdose.org we have posted resources on fentanyl and safety for law enforcement, including a training video "Fentanyl: The Real Deal" and "Fentanyl Safety Recommendations for First Responders."

 

In addition, we also have a "Guide to Fentanyl Surveillance for WA State Syringe Service Programs."

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Huge rise in overdose deaths, in Washington state and the nation, from fentanyl, which can kill even in tiny doses

https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/health/overdose-deaths-from-powerful-narcotic-fentanyl-on-the-rise-in-washington/
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National Addiction Expert Warns There's a Bigger Threat Looming Than Opioids

https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/national-addiction-expert-warns-theres-a-bigger-threat-looming-than-opioids-300759181.html
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2017 Overdose Death Report

https://www.kingcounty.gov/depts/health/examiner/~/media/depts/health/medical-examiner/documents/2017-overdose-death-report.ashx
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Opioid epidemic affecting half of Washington’s child care cases

http://mynorthwest.com/1143162/opioid-epidemic-washington-child-dependency/
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80 Arrested, 95 Pounds of Meth and 75 Guns Seized in Washington Drug Bust

https://wnep.com/2018/06/07/80-arrested-95-pounds-of-meth-and-75-guns-seized-in-washington-drug-bust/
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Despite Legalization, Marijuana Black Market Hides In Plain Sight

https://www.npr.org/2018/05/16/610579599/despite-legalization-marijuana-black-market-hides-in-plain-sight
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Washington state authorities seize 50 pounds of meth

https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/washington-state-authorities-seize-50-pounds-of-meth/
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